Posts Tagged ‘Rhinelander Row’

Rhinelander Gardens: then and now

December 30, 2009

Designed by James Renwick—architect of Grace Church on Tenth Street and Broadway and St. Patrick’s Cathedral—these “three-decker” row houses stood at the corner of Sixth Avenue and 11th Street since 1855.

I’m not sure what connection they have to the Rhinelanders—an old New York family—but the family probably owned the land they were built on, hence the name.

Another Rhinelander real estate site is just around the corner on Seventh Avenue.

Berenice Abbott took the photo in 1937. Rhinelander Gardens only lasted another 20 years. Amazingly, the city tore them down (and their lovely front lawns and cast-iron balconies!) to build P.S. 41.

The school is very 1950s. The tenement apartment building on the far right, the Unadilla, still exists.

Lost New York, by  Nathan Silver, published in 1967, has this to say:

“The setback fronts of the houses were the result of the imperfect match of the old Greenwich Village street pattern with the upper Manhattan grid. Some deep fronts can still be seen on 11th Street, but the Rhinelander row was demolished in the late 1950s.”

The Village’s lovely Rhinelander Row

April 7, 2009

If the very top of the Port Authority building a few blocks away on Eighth Avenue and 14th Street weren’t visible, you might think this photo captured a row of simple homes in some small city or country town in the pre-automobile, horse and wagon era.

But it’s actually a moment in time on the West side of Seventh Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets in the West Village. The photo was taken by Berenice Abbott in 1937, just before these 11 three-story, wooden-balconied homes were razed.


Built by landowner William Rhinelander in 1848, they were previously known as “cottage row,” and they shouldn’t be confused with Rhinelander Gardens, a fancier row of homes that once stood on West 11th Street.

A New York Times article from 1937 said of Rhinelander Row, “With their wide piazzas and ample balconies on the upper floors they have been for many years refreshing reminders of the simple but comfortable residential days in that interesting part of the city.”

What’s on that block now? It’s the site of the Maritime Building, which appears to be getting the ax so Saint Vincent’s Medical Center can put up a new hospital building.